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Is inflation constant at any given moment throughout the entire observable universe? I realize inflation was once much more prevalent, so at the edge of the observable universe, we would observe a high rate of inflation, vs. near us, we wouldn't observe a high rate. However, is this rate uniform throughout the entire universe, at the current moment? Put another way (probably more readily observable), is inflation observed to be the same in every direction in the universe?

I am asking because I am wondering if there are still parts of the universe, beyond what we can see, that are possibly still undergoing inflation, as this article proposes: https://www.thespaceacademy.org/2021/12/this-is-why-physicists-suspect.html To me, it would seem if inflation is uniform throughout the entire universe, this would not be the case, but it very well may be the case if there are variations in inflation rate.

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The theory you're referring to is called "eternal inflation", and in that context, the universe isn't inflating today. It is expanding at an accelerating pace, but it is not inflating. The time when the universe did inflate was immediately after the big bang.

Given the above, your question is rather vague and hard to answer as a result. However, we can say that the inflation immediately after the big bang was spherically symmetric - if it weren't, we would see imprints of it in the cosmic microwave background.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, I am assuming we do not see imprints of varied inflation rates? Perhaps this could explain the "cold spot" in the CMB? $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Jan 5, 2022 at 2:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Jonathan yeah, we don't see imprints of varied inflation rates. As for "cold spot" - that is a rather misleading term because the CMB is so extremely close to uniform. The deviations are at the 1-part-in-100,000 level. $\endgroup$
    – Allure
    Jan 5, 2022 at 2:36

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